Artist Will McLeod is a great friend of mine.
When we get together, we consider strategic ways to move forward with our plans.
After, our conversation always finds it's way back to the meaning in what it is to be people.
What's it all about? How do we feel and who are we meant to provide for? After all,
we choose to dedicate significant time towards learning a craft that clothes humans. To protect them,
or make them feel something today, tomorrow, and to predict what will happen next. To consider the
place where people live, where we live, and how to prepare for a future on a planet that's a-changin' steadily.
We consider ways to be self-sustaining and how to acquire space. From there forward,
it's conversation of animal hair and hand-crafted technique. Machinery already in our possession,
and what we must still attain, what we can build. Business plans and future vacations in the sun.
Materials, colors, textures, sounds, something, and absolutely nothing at all.
Both Will and I share an interest in felt as a medium. This, for me, began when we were
working on a project in the library at FIT, maybe for english. Will showed me a book by German
artist Joseph Beuys, a highly influential creator of the 20th century. He favored two materials for his
work in traditional and performance art, felt and fat. Now, we speak of the uses and importance
in fabric making. How to create seamless garments. Pieces perfectly custom fit to a specific
individual's shape, or rather, aimed to drastically change or emphasis that shape. The possibility in
achieving all of these different textures and color. We speak of ways to create fabric on a
larger scale. An operation that would allow us to make yards of this imagined fabric.
His sketch shown above has inspired me to create the swatch seen below.
collaborative wool felt swatch #1 | 100% wool roving
Will's ideas for collaborative pieces, such as machine sewn blouses and simple shifts
with wet/needle felted collars, yokes, and sleeve cuffs, have also been put into action.
Releasing us from the dificulties of fusible interfacing and time spent on tricky
construction. Also, endless hand-dying possibilities... hand-beading, too.
Hand-dyed hem appears to be of natural progression, like rain water stain after spring months.
This sketch depicts an idea for a dress in this webby, drop stitch sort of fabric.
I think some of these more structured panels could be a contrast of lightweight, felted
fabrics with the same loopy pattern needle-felted into it. Like this one maybe,
collaborative wool felt swatch #2 | 100% wool roving as a base, needle felted
detail using a poly/mohair blended yarn.
Hand-painted tights peaking from this futuristic one...
Also a brilliant way for us to collaborate on looks, rather than single pieces.
I've done a bit of work in hand-painted tights too, using procion dyes and painting free-form.